Monday, May 24, 2010

Trollish editing

There was some trollish editing done today, and I was the troll (or at least, that is how I am going to tell the story). But before I begin my story, here is my daily horoscope from (iVillage):

Expect a setback. It isn't likely to be the end of the road for any project, but it is likely to tie you up for longer than you would like. If you handle it well, you draw the right kind of attention to yourself.

Well, that last part is not going to happen (because I am a troll). As for the rest of it, this is one of those days when my daily horoscope was correct.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an inquiry about some of the information on the Bast Temple website. I hoped that it was just a misunderstanding, and not what I really thought it was all about. Today, any doubts that I had about the situation was cleared up.

The original inquiry was about the authority of Bast Temple. The inquiry indicated that there was some confusion about where the lodge's authority was coming from. I honestly did not see how anyone could be confused about it. The inquiry expressed concern that some might mistake Bast Temple as a lodge of the Order this person was a member of.

Today, it become "Cease and Desist of using our legally trademarked 'service mark.'" In other words, do not use the name of our Order, or any of its variants without legal permission unless you are giving a link to us, or acknowledging your past membership in the Order.

So I can't tell you the name of the Order in question. Nor the subject matter. If you are really smart, you can figure it out. A long memory will also help.

Now ask me what I think that this is really about? Go on, I dare you. Or better yet, just take a wild guess.

That is right---one of Bast Temple's pages was showing up on the first page of the Google results for this Order. And if you put in Denver or Colorado into the search request, the Bast Temple's page would be the very first result.

(The page would also got a lot of first and second page hits for the subject matter that this Order specializes in if Denver or Colorado was included.)

And it was NOT the page that the concern was being expressed about. Furthermore, this page actually gave a link to the correct web address of this Order.

(Let me explain the importance of that. A few of years ago, the then-current leader [aka webmaster] decided to close shop; and when the original Head and founder of the Order learned what happened, the founder decided to claim that the site had just moved instead. I know the truth; I have the webmaster's original announcement archived in PDF form, though I did modify my pages to match the founder's story. Bast Temple was the first to link to the new site after the original web site disappeared.)

Now, I suspect that someone wanted me to erase every page that mentioned this Order. To literally, lay waste to the lodge's website. Instead, I spent the day being a troll and just crossing out the name of this Order, one of its members, and making a new full disclosure statement. Oh, I did delete one page which was scheduled for deletion this summer anyways. If they would have waited until after the June OFM, their request would have been fulfilled without no ill-will at all being exchanged.

The sad truth of the matter is that Bast Temple was not getting that many web hits from the name of this Order, and definitely not any new members. If they think forcing me to remove the information is going to increase their numbers, they are sadly mistaken. And if the person who started this process thinks that it is going to result in him getting any members for his planned new project that he would not have gotten otherwise, he is also sadly mistaken (a lodge reworking that Order's material).

(And does he actually plan on mentioning the name of this Order in connection with this project? Place your bets now.)

The simple truth is that we are involved in catering to different markets. Bast Temple would be more likely to blackball an applicant suitable to this other Order than actually let them into the lodge. Hence, we wanted to redirect without having to do the work of the application process. Except now, we cannot actually direct them to the place that they are more suitable to go before they apply---because we are not allowed to mention the name of the Order that they actually belong in (and I do not give links without talking about the site or group I am linking to). And forcing us to talk to an applicant in person more suitable for them (and not just redirect them before the application process begins) just means that we get to tell the truth about why I left that Order---trust issues abound after that story is related.

(And I so want to tell someone that story about now, but I won't online for STRICT legal reasons. I am a troll, not a muckraker.)

Full disclosure: For STRICT legal reasons, I have to be a troll. I was willing to redirect people to this Order, and mention that I found some small merit in the sytem before today's events. Now, I can't. And I might be a little annoyed also. Hence, I have became a troll. At least now, I have an excuse not to trim my beard or get a haircut---so it is not a total loss. Thanks. Now if someone could point me to a nice local bridge to spend my summer days under, everyone will be happy.

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